Mir Zeeshan

2 LeT militants killed in encounter in Shopian

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Shopian, May 12: Two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were Sunday killed in a pre-dawn encounter with security forces in south Kashmir's Shopian district, police said.

A police spokesperson said that following a tip off about the presence of militants in Hend Sitapore village, a cordon and search operation was launched by a joint column of troops of 34RR, SOG of police and CRPF.

"As the search was initiated in the area, the hiding militants fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated by forces triggering an encounter," said the police spokesperson, adding that two militants were killed in the said encounter and their bodies were later retrieved from the encounter site.

Police spokesperson identified the slain militants as Adil Bashir Wani, son of Bashir Ahmad Wani, resident of Waripora Damahal Hanjipora, Kulgam and Javid Ahmad Bhat, son of Ali Mohammad Bhat, resident of Redwani, also in Kulgam district.

"After medico-legal formalities, the bodies of the slain duo were handed over to their families for last rites,” spokesman said.

He said according to police records, both the militants were affiliated with the LeT outfit.

"They were wanted by law for their complicity in a series of crimes, including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities. Several cases were registered against them," he said.

"Bhat had a long history of militancy and a series of cases were registered against him for planning and executing attacks in the area. He was also responsible for recruiting youth from adjoining areas of Kulgam to join proscribed outfits," the spokesperson said.

Similarly, Wani was also involved in several attacks and cases were registered against him, he said.

The spokesperson said incriminating material, including arms and ammunition, were recovered from the site of the encounter.

All these material have been taken in the case records for further investigation and to probe their complicity in other cases, he added.

The spokesperson said with the efforts of police and security forces, it was a clean operation and no collateral damage took place during the exchange of firing.

“Citizens are once again requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any,” spokesperson said.

According to a police official Adil Bashir, has gone missing from his home since May 03 and a missing report was also lodged at police station DH Pora vide DD No 09/2019 on 8th of this month. He said Javid Ahmad Bhat had joined militant ranks in July 2017.

Funeral prayers of the slain duo were performed at their native villages with thousands of people participating amid pro-Islam and pro-freedom slogans.

An eyewitness said that during the funeral prayers of slain Javid, few of his associates appeared there and offered him gun salute by firing bullets in air.

Meanwhile, in the wake of killing of two militants, all shops and business establishments remained closed in twin districts of Shopian and Kulgam. Internet services were also suspended in the twin districts.

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